Word Count: 1,295
Characters/Pairings: James, Juliet, David, Jack, Kate, James/Juliet, Jack/Kate
Author's Note: Written for hc_bingo prompt septicemia/infected wounds.
Disclaimer: I don't own Lost and never will. No copyright infringement intended.
Summary: James Ford is kidnapped by a suspect. Juliet worries, even after he's found alive but injured. AU set in the Sideways Verse.
Juliet Ford had been on edge for nine days, seven hours, and five minutes, ever since her husband had been kidnapped. James had been working when it happened, and his temporary partner was killed. Miles was on sick leave, and he felt irrationally guilty for being gone despite the fact that it wasn’t his fault.
Juliet was checking on a patient when she got the call – She refused to go home and be alone with her thoughts since it would just drive her insane – that James was in the emergency room. Her hands shaking, the doctor apologized to the patient and bolted to the elevator. It seemed to take forever for the elevator doors to open and then head downstairs to the ER. Juliet didn’t realize until she was in the middle of the floor that she had no clue where her husband was, so she just rushed around until she found him.
“Juliet, what are you doing here? Get out,” gently ordered one of her colleagues.
“Robert, that is my husband! I haven’t seen him in over a week because he was kidnapped. Let me in!”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t. We need to take care of James, but we won’t be able to work with you in the room.”
“How dare you!” She was interrupted in her rage by her ex-husband.
“Juliet, he’s right. Come on with me. We need to call David and check in with the nanny. And somebody, probably Kate, needs to call Cassidy so Clementine can find out her dad’s okay.” He dragged his reluctant ex-wife out of the trauma room as the doctors continued to work on James.
“They won’t tell me what’s wrong.”
“I know.” Jack pulled her in for a hug and started rubbing his back. He had been worried about both James and Juliet for the past week. She had been running on autopilot since the police officers had showed up at the hospital to inform her that James had been taken.
“What if he dies?” That was one of Juliet’s worst fears since she was married to a cop. James had tried to assure her that he’d be fine, but she hadn’t believed him and ended up being right. She hated being right in these circumstances.
“He’s a fighter. James isn’t going to die and leave you and the kids alone. He’s survived for nine days already, hasn’t he?”
She nodded. “I need to see him.”
“And you’ll be able to soon. I’m going to call Kate to pick up David from school, so why don’t you call the nanny?” Jack gave Juliet an encouraging smile, which she didn’t return.
While Jack called his wife to tell her the (semi) good news, Juliet talked to the nanny and checked in on her and James’ eight month old daughter.
“Ella is napping, Doctor Ford, and she should be fine.”
“Thank you, Kara.” There was an awkward silence before the nanny broke it.
“I’m really glad that Mr. Ford is back, Doctor Ford. I’m happy to stay overnight for you, since Ella is behaving perfectly well.”
“That’s good. I’ll call you later, Kara.” Juliet hung up her phone and bit one of her fingernails in worry. She was still standing in the hallway, lost, when one of James’ doctors came to see her.
“He’s been taken up for emergency surgery to remove a bullet and there’s some internal bleeding. We’ll know more soon, Doctor Ford.”
She nodded as the other doctor left and then stared as Kate and David walked through the doors. “Mom!”
“Hi, baby. How are you?” Juliet was a little relieved at seeing her oldest son, but she was still too worried about James to be completely relieved.
“I’m good. How’s James?” David had been forced to go to school even though he had been freaked out about his stepfather’s kidnapping. Juliet hadn’t wanted him to miss anything.
“He’s in surgery now and we’ll know more later.”
A worried Kate eyed Juliet warily. “Why don’t we go down to the cafeteria and get something to eat? You need food.”
“I’m going to go find Dad.” David took off in search of Jack and left the two women by themselves. Kate had to practically drag Juliet down to the cafeteria and force her to get something to eat.
It was a long time before Juliet received word on her husband’s updated condition. “We stopped the internal bleeding and got the bullet out. Unfortunately, the wound is infected because it seems like the bullet was stuck inside of James for a few days. You can visit him in Recovery, but you can’t stay long. The next twenty-four hours are critical.”
“Thank you,” Juliet murmured. She went into the recovery room and stroked James’ hair. He was unconscious and probably would be for a while, but the doctor couldn’t help but talk to him. She told him she loved him before reluctantly leaving the room.
She sat in the waiting room for hours and briefly checked in on her patients, but Juliet couldn’t stop thinking about James. She escaped to the staff bedroom around 3:00 in the morning and slid to the floor, where she burst into sobs. She had been trying to be strong and couldn’t do it anymore. The tears that Juliet had been holding back since James had been kidnapped finally left loose. The doctor cried for so long and so hard that she ended up in the bathroom stall throwing up. That’s where Kate found her and held her hair back. Jack had gone home hours earlier with David so the teenager could get some sleep.
At 10:00AM, James was stable enough that Juliet was able to visit him in the ICU. “Hey, Blondie.” He was in and out of consciousness.
“Hey you. Don’t you dare die on me, Ford. I love you too much to let you go.”
“Love you too. Give the kids a kiss for me?” And then he drifted off again and Juliet burst into another round of tears.
The infection raged through James’ body for days, leading to low blood pressure and a high fever. However, on day five, the fever broke and the infection started to go away. Juliet had been running herself ragged to take care of both her husband and her children.
On day six of James’ hospitalization, Juliet finally brought Ella, along with Clementine, in to see her husband. She had been asking for him, and she couldn’t deny the baby anymore. Plus, Clementine had been worried too, even though he was in the hospital.
“Dada!” The baby giggled at her father.
James smiled up at his daughters and stepson. “Why hello there, Miss Eleanor Mary. How are you? You okay there, too, Princess Clem? And you been taking care of your mother and sisters, David?”
David nodded. “I was so worried about you. I’m glad you’re okay.” He went to hug his stepfather, but the teenager felt a little awkward about it. Luckily, James let him go after a few seconds.
Juliet climbed into bed with her husband after Kate and Jack showed up to take the kids with them for the weekend. “Don’t ever leave me.”
“I’m going to try not to, but I can’t make any promises You know that.” James kissed his wife and then beamed at her.
James had a long road to recovery ahead of him – As did Juliet – but they would get through it as a family.
They were stronger together as a family. Juliet comforted her husband through the nightmares, and David, Clementine, and Ella helped him heal. They were all that mattered to James.
The kidnapper hadn’t broken him, and as long as he had his family by his side, James would be okay.